Using playbooks to run your sales plays is the bedrock for your team's success. When a team has centralized access to a comprehensive playbook, they are more likely to run effective plays and close more deals.
Let’s say your team doesn’t have an exhaustive sales playbook. You might not have the resources or time to create multiple playbooks for your reps to use in different selling situations.
Regardless of your situation, you can still build an effective sales call playbook even without a large number of resources — as long as you focus on the essential slides. Consolidating the key points will help you create a playbook that your team can use to sell successfully right away.
This article will tell you how to create an effective playbook by simply focusing on the essential presentation content.
The first steps to create your playbook
A sales playbook contains fundamental content like your product’s specific sales cycle, prospective client information, battle cards, and sales plays to run in different scenarios.
When creating your core playbook, you want to keep in mind these pieces of content. In addition, focus on utilizing all of those aspects to create a story. This means having your reps focus on the flow of conversation and asking the right questions.
Every client has different challenges and needs, so your playbook needs to be a guide to help direct your reps in the right direction.
Step 1: Build rapport face-to-face
Before you begin creating the physical slides of your playbook, have your reps focus on starting their calls with simple communication. The first few minutes of a call is your chance to set the tone for the entire sales process, so make sure to set the stage well.
Reps can also use this time to quickly get buy-in on things like:
- Confirming all attendees
- Ensuring that the scheduled time still works for them
- Asking for recording consent
- Giving a brief overview of the agenda
- See if they would like to cover anything else
In addition, this window of conversation is an important time for them to learn how to set the meeting’s expectations. Reps can briefly reiterate the prospect’s current challenges based on their research and past conversations. The customer will know that reps are adequately prepared and that they can expect to have everything they will need to make a decision by the end of the call.
If your team starts their sales calls with these personal touches and allows the natural flow of conversation to shine through, then they are more likely to engage the customer from the very beginning. Plus, instead of just “pitching” the product right away, reps are establishing their goal of working towards a solution together.
Step 2: Guide reps using speaker notes
Speaker notes are a vital part of conversation prep. Be sure to integrate notes for each slide to guide the sales team through every call. This is especially helpful for a new rep during onboarding or for an executive who is presenting the product for the first time.
You can format speaker notes based on the type of meeting or stage of the sales cycle. Depending on the category of lead, the notes will vary. Here is an example of how the speaker notes could break down in the first section of your playbook:
Inbound Speaker Notes
- Why did you reach out to us?
- What do you already know about our product/company?
- What would you like to get out of this call?
- What are your goals? Your challenges?
- If the product seems like a good fit, then a brief overview of how we can solve your problem. (next slide)
- Call to action options. (schedule a call, free trial, etc.)
Outbound Speaker Notes
- Why did we reach out to this prospect?
- How did this meeting come about?
- What motivated you to take this call?
Qualifying Lead Notes
- How is your team structured currently?
- What does your current system look like?
- What are your goals over the next 6-12 months?
- Why is this so important to you?
- What would you gain if you had that?
- How does this affect the team?
Reps can ramp up more efficiently and start selling quicker with speaker notes connected to every core slide in your playbook. Not to mention, with Demodesk you can also have your speaker notes & objection battle cards within the same playbook!
Defining your core sales playbook slides
The initial meeting conversation and corresponding questions can help guide the rep through the narrative they need to tell. This is where those key playbook slides come into play.
When you are creating your first playbook, you need to hone in on the pertinent information that can thoughtfully tell your story. Typically, this should be about three to four slides.
Here is a breakdown of how to set up these slides for your playbook:
Slide 1: Why should they buy your product?
Once your reps have an understanding of their prospect’s main challenge, they’ll be able to start focusing on the solution when they get to their actual presentation.
The first key slide dives right into why your product can be the answer to their specific problem. A prospect’s focus is on the result, so getting right to answering that question for them grabs their attention up front.
When preparing this slide, prepare answers for commonly asked questions to help provide your reps with adequate answers:
- What is your value prop for the marketplace?
- Explain the service are you providing.
- Who is your target audience?
- Why is your product best for this specific client?
- Which challenges can your product solve for them?
The main point of this slide is to highlight how you can bring value and solve their problem. Once the rep has talked about the product’s value and confirmed their buy-in, then it’s time for the demo slide.
Slide 2: Explain how you solve their main challenge
The demo portion of your playbook is when the prospect is seeing the product in action. You want to be sure it runs as smoothly as possible for your team with limited opportunities for interruption or disruption.
Integrate your demo into your playbook directly. This means having your reps prepared with your tool uploaded in advance or displaying the website through a shared screen. However, the product is meant to be utilized, so make sure reps make this part as interactive as possible to increase knowledge retention of the prospect.
It’s also important for your reps to ensure the smoothest transition into the demo itself. They want to keep the prospect’s engagement and interest piqued.
For example, let’s say your product is best shown via a shared screen. Typically, screen sharing means you have to move from one browser to another — the perfect time for lagging internet to strike or for the client to become distracted!
Instead, with a playbook tool like Demodesk, reps can actually host the entire presentation through an interactive and real-time screen. This means everything is queued up in one, centralized playbook without having to go elsewhere on their computer.
Slide 3: Show your customer’s results
Storytelling is such an important aspect of the sales process and especially within your call playbook.
Inserting real client feedback and case studies is another way for your reps to show prospects why your product can solve their problem — because it’s been done before!
For example, let’s say one of your reps has a prospect that is interested in your software but is still hesitant because of the cost. Have them refer to a specific case study about a client that ended up saving a certain percentage of money by implementing your product. This directly targets the prospect’s reason for doubt.
With a real-life example of a client in a similar situation, they are more likely to shift their thinking about their decision. So when you are creating this slide in your playbook, include different case studies or testimonials for your reps to choose from depending on their prospect’s situation.
Storytelling is a powerful and impactful tool. If prospects can hear specific examples of how your product has helped streamline tech stacks or improved internal processes, your reps will be more likely to get buy-in.
Slide 4: Initiate a call to action
The last essential slide should be a call to action for the next steps. This will ensure that your reps get the customer to move to the next stage while they still have their engagement and attention.
By including a call to action in your playbook, you are also creating accountability for both your reps and the prospect.
For example, if the next step means a more in-depth demo, then include a scheduling booking link in the last slide. With Demodesk, since the presentation is interactive, they can actually go ahead and click on the link while still talking with your reps!
By integrating the next step right into the presentation, your reps can solidify the plan in real-time. This limits the potential for your reps to get caught up in endless phone tag or follow-up emails.
Not every sales organization has the resources to create a nuanced and detailed playbook. However, with just a small collection of effective slides, reps can still be set up to succeed on their calls straight away.
With these slides in your playbook, onboarding will be faster and more efficient. From a client’s perspective, a short but impactful meeting playbook means they are not overwhelmed with too much content. By focusing on three or four core playbook slides, you are more likely to maintain their attention and engagement.
Over time and as your team grows, your sales playbook will also mature and evolve. To help build your main sales playbook, download the Playbook Best Practices Checklist here!